Loerts does it again
-Tigers place sixth, E-LC/A-R wins district title-
The third time was still the charm for Spencer junior Ashley Loerts.
The two-time state qualifier made it three in-a-row last night at the Tigers’ Class 3A Regional cross country meet in Estherville, turning in a runner-up performance behind Estherville-Lincoln Central/Armstrong-Ringstead’s Brittany Ross to punch her third straight ticket to the Iowa Girls State Cross Country meet.
“It was difficult with the conditions, but I felt I ran strong,” Loerts said. “It’s an awesome feeling and a great honor to be going again.”
Despite the rainy and soggy conditions that made Estherville Golf and Country Club an even tougher course Thursday night, Loerts clocked a time of 17-minutes, 2 seconds, finishing five seconds behind Ross and 10 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Brooke Egeland, also of E-LC/A-R.
“Ashley ran a great race. She’s very deserving ... she has definitely earned it,” said Spencer coach Kurt Bauermeister. “I’m just leaving her alone and letting her go because she’s been running so well lately.”
Behind Ross and Egeland, the No. 4 Midgets took home the regional team title with 47 points. No. 2 Spirit Lake Park (61) and No. 10 Sioux City Heelan (73) joined Estherville-Lincoln Central/Armstrong-Ringstead as the region’s state qualifying teams, placing second and third, respectively.
Loerts, who placed 31st at state as a freshman in 2005 and 25th in ‘06 competing alongside Spencer graduate Aly Altenhofen, was hoping for company on the state course again this year, but the regional field proved a tough task for the Tigers.
“I was a little disappointed just because I really wanted to go as a team,” Loerts admitted. “I thought it would be a good opportunity, but I know everybody tried their best and that’s all you can do.”
Garner-Hayfield finished fourth in the team standings with 109 points, Iowa Falls-Alden rounded out the top five with 125 and Spencer finished sixth with 158 points.
Alyssa Eisenbacher was the second Tiger to cross the finish line, placing 26th in 18:41.09. Becky Schulke placed 39th in 19:15.23, Hailie Iles was 42nd, Molly Lorenz placed 49th, Alli Christy was 55th and Kellie Carstens was 57th.
“We ran well. This is a quality district, loaded with some real tough competition,” Bauermeister commented. “It’s been a great season. All of our runners have worked hard. I’ve seen a lot of progress this year.”
Looking ahead to 2008, Bauermeister expects the Tigers to field another strong team, one that will include three of last night’s regional competitors. The Tigers will say goodbye to seniors Molly Lorenz, Alli Christy, Kellie Carstens, Kylee Rhode, Abby Pingel and Amanda Veiseth.
“We have a good nucleus returning for next season, but we will miss our six seniors next year,” Bauermeister said. “They have provided the team with leadership and many memories.”
Loerts will compete in the 2007 Iowa Girls State Cross Country Championships next Saturday in Fort Dodge.
(* - denotes state qualifier)
1. *Estherville-Lincoln Central/Armstrong-Ringstead 47, 2. *Spirit Lake Park 61, 3. *Sioux City Heelan 73, 4. Garner-Hayfield 109, 5. Iowa Falls-Alden 125, 6. Spencer 158, 7. Algona 200, 8. Forest City 209, 9. Storm Lake 238, 10. LeMars 255, 11. Clear Lake 286, 12. Sergeant Bluff-Luton incomplete.
(* - denotes state qualifier)
2. *Ashley Loerts 17:02.93, 26. Alyssa Eisenbacher 18:41.09, 39. Becky Schulke 19:15.23, 42. Hailie Iles 19:18.9, 49. Molly Lorenz 19:52.25, 55. Alli Christy 20:06.12, 57. Kellie Carstens 20:08.69.